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Rick Ross assassination attempt might have links to Gangster Disciples
Jan-30-2013 485 0

There is no shortage of suspects in Monday's assassination attempt on well-known rap star Rick Ross. And they all lead back to Chicago.

Ross survived a shooting ambush in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Monday morning.

The worst kept secret in the rap world has been a dispute between Ross and the Chicago-based Gangster Disciples. Ross was apparently targeted by gang leaders after he used some of their signs, symbols and logos without paying them the required fees.

Over the past few months, gang members have posted video death threats against the rapper on YouTube. Monday, a hit squad opened fire on Ross in South Florida.

There was a spray of gunfire just before daybreak on the silver Rolls Royce being driven by rapper Rick Ross, stage name for William L. Roberts.

"Nine or 10 shots, rapid fire," said a witness. "AK-47 or pretty large rifle, it was definitely a rifle."

Fort Lauderdale police tell the I-Team that they cannot confirm nor dismiss whether the allege threats to the rap star are legitimate but that detectives are examining the forensic evidence.

Despite all the bullets, rapper Ross, celebrating his 37th birthday Monday, was not hurt and neither was his girlfriend in the car, which crashed into an apartment.

Videos claiming to have been posted by Gangster Disciple members in cities across the U.S. all say that the rapper needs to pay the gang or he will be killed.

Authorities in South Florida say the motive for the attack is unclear.

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AP Apr-27-2016 133 0
Former "Scandal" actor Columbus Short has tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use and is facing a probation violation in a felony assault case, court records show.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Leslie E. Brown received details about the failed drug tests Thursday and ordered the actor to appear at a hearing May 9 to address them.

The actor told probation officials in early April he used medicinal marijuana daily but had not used cocaine in three years. A drug test administered on April 8 tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use, according to a probation report filed April 21.

A probation officer recommended that Short receive drug and alcohol treatment and be ordered to abstain from alcohol. "For the well being and safety of the defendant and for the safety of the community, a drug and alcohol treatment program would assist the defendant with his substance abuse issues," the report states.

Short pleaded no contest to felony assault in September and was sentenced to three years of supervised probation, two months of community labor and anger management counseling. He was charged after he delivered a running punch during a fight at a family gathering in March 2014. The blow knocked a man unconscious, gave him a concussion and fractured his eye socket.

The actor has completed anger management counseling, but has not yet completed the community labor terms of his sentence.

Short's attorney Ludlow B. Creary II said the actor has previously publicly addressed his drug use and no further comment on it was necessary. Short told Access Hollywood in 2014 that his cocaine use and drinking had caused many of the problems that led to his departure from "Scandal."

Creary said he hopes Short will "complete his probation, and get on with career." He added that he believed Short's legal problems are overblown.

"It's our belief that Mr. Short is going to continue to make progress," Creary said.

Short, 33, left "Scandal" after being charged in the assault case and a separate domestic-violence case involving his estranged wife.

The actor was ordered to pay the man he struck, Fenton Hyche III, more than $14,000 in restitution to cover medical bills and lost wages.
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Tom Sykes Apr-26-2016 127 0
Prince reportedly worked for 154 hours without sleep in the days leading up to his death in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate.

According to numerous reports, his brother-in-law Maurice Phillips has claimed the singer worked for six days non-stop before his death.

Speaking after a private family service at the singer’s estate, Mr. Phillips reportedly said: “He worked 154 hours straight. I was with him just last weekend. He was a good brother-in-law.”

The Daily Mail reported that Phillips, 52, talked as mourners arrived at Paisley Park for a memorial service on Saturday afternoon. Phillips, the Mail says, made a point of coming over and chatting to fans.

The Mail said that Phillips, who is married to Prince’s sister, would not say “what Prince had been working on in the days before he was died, nor give details of what was going on at the service.”

Meanwhile Mr. Phillips told The Sun that Prince’s estate will be turned into a museum as a lasting memorial.

“It would be for the fans. He was all about the fans—this would remember his music, which is his legacy,” he said. “Prince was always private but would have wanted his music remembered.”

Employees at the Electric Fetus record shop in Minneapolis said the musician appeared to be “pale” and “weak” when he visited five days before his death.

Max Timander, who works at Electric Fetus, told the Press Association: “Everyone I’ve talked to on that Saturday said he looked kind of pale and he was not totally looking in the best shape as he normally is.

“It sounded like he was looking kind of weak. I know he had just got over the flu supposedly.”
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AP Apr-21-2016 79 0
Pop superstar Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his era with hits including "Little Red Corvette," ''Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57.

His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, told The Associated Press that the music icon died at his home in Chanhassen. No details were immediately released.

The singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist broke through in the late 1970s with the hits "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover," and soared over the following decade with such albums as "1999" and "Purple Rain." The title song from "1999" includes one of the most widely quoted refrains of popular culture: "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999."

The Minneapolis native, born Prince Rogers Nelson, stood just 5 feet, 2 inches tall, and seemed to summon the most original and compelling sounds at will, whether playing guitar in a flamboyant style that openly drew upon Jimi Hendrix, switching his vocals from a nasally scream to an erotic falsetto or turning out album after album of stunningly original material. Among his other notable releases: "Sign O' the Times," ''Graffiti Bridge" and "The Black Album."

He was also fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his material and even his name. Prince once wrote "slave" on his face in protest of not owning his work and famously battled and then departed his label, Warner Bros., before returning a few years ago.

"What's happening now is the position that I've always wanted to be in," Prince told the AP in 2014. "I was just trying to get here."

The same year, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame, which hailed him as a musical and social trailblazer.

"He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties," reads the Hall's dedication. "Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative."

Rarely lacking in confidence, Price effortlessly absorbed the music of others and made it sound like Prince, whether the James Brown guitar riff on "Kiss" or the Beatle-esque, psychedelic pop of "Raspberry Beret."

He also proved a source of hits for others, from Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" to Cyndi Lauper's "When You Were Mine." He also wrote "Manic Monday" for the Bangles

Prince had been touring and recording right up until his death, releasing four albums in the last 18 months, including two on the Tidal streaming service last year. He performed in Atlanta last week as part of his "Piano and a Microphone" tour, a stripped down show that has featured a mix of his hits like "Purple Rain" or "Little Red Corvette" and some B-sides from his extensive library.

Prince debuted the intimate format at his Paisley Park studios in January, treating fans to a performance that was personal and was both playful and emotional at times.

The musician had seemed to be shedding his reclusive reputation. He hosted several late-night jam sessions where he serenaded Madonna, celebrated the Minnesota Lynx's WNBA championship and showcased his latest protege, singer Judith Hill.

Ever surprising, he announced on stage in New York City last month that he was writing his memoir. "The Beautiful Ones" was expected to be released in the fall of 2017 by publishing house Spiegel & Grau. The publishing house has not yet commented on status of book, but a press release about the memoir says: "Prince will take readers on an unconventional and poetic journey through his life and creative work." It says the book will include stories about Prince's music and "the family that shaped him and the people, places, and ideas that fired his creative imagination."

A small group of fans quickly gathered in the rain Thursday outside his music studio, Paisley Park, where Prince's gold records are on the walls and the purple motorcycle he rode in his 1984 breakout movie, "Purple Rain," is on display. The white building surrounded by a fence is about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis.

Steven Scott, 32, of Eden Prairie, said he was at Paisley Park last Saturday for Prince's dance party. He called Prince "a beautiful person" whose message was that people should love one another.

"He brought people together for the right reasons," Scott said.
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Shari Weiss Apr-16-2016 143 0
“Empire” stars Trai Byers and Grace Gealey are married!

The co-stars traded Chicago, where the hit FOX series is filmed, for Grand Cayman this week, tying the knot in an intimate island wedding. The nuptials took place on Thursday, with Byers wearing white to match his bride. The couple was joined by a small group of friends and family, but no “Empire” co-stars were in attendance.

Byers and Gealey, who was raised in the Cayman Islands, began dating in 2014 after meeting through the show. The actress confirmed their engagement last October. Neither, however, has mentioned their days-old union on social media yet.

The newlyweds will have time for a honeymoon, as the second season of “Empire” has already wrapped filming. Byers stars as Andre, the oldest son of Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) Lyon. His character, who struggles with bipolar disorder, is wed to Kaitlin Doubleday’s Rhonda.
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MEERA JAGANNATHAN Apr-10-2016 171 0
A woman charged with swiping a $30,000 watch from rapper DMX has accused him of sexual assault.

Cops responded at 6:44 a.m. Saturday to a report of DMX and the 25-year-old woman arguing in front of the Ayres Hotel in Costa Mesa, Calif., the Costa Mesa Police Department told the Daily News in a statement.

Police collared the woman for grand theft, after which she alleged that DMX had sexually assaulted her.

The rapper was not taken into custody, police said. The woman was released after posting bail, and officers are investigating her allegations.

The “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” rapper had met the woman Friday night at a Hollywood bar and invited her and a group of others back to his hotel room, sources close to DMX told TMZ. Someone called police after realizing she had made off with the pricey timepiece, along with cash.

Insiders deny the woman’s claims, pointing out that several other people were present in the hotel room, TMZ reports.

A rep for the 45-year-old "Cradle 2 the Grave" star has not yet returned The News’ request for comment.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, recently came back from the brink of death after collapsing in a Yonkers hotel parking lot.

He rose to fame in the late '90s and early 2000s for hits like "Party Up" and “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem,” but has lately made more headlines for his illustrious rap sheet.

His long list of arrests — dating back to 1998 — includes a 90-day jail sentence for animal cruelty and drug possession, six months in jail for failing to pay $400,000 worth of child support to his ex-wife, Tashera Simmons, and a bonkers 2004 incident in which he crashed a car through a Kennedy Airport parking lot gate, insisting he was a government agent.
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Rachel McRady Mar-23-2016 215 0
Hip-hop has lost another legend. Phife Dawg, a founding member of the rap group A Tribe Called Quest, passed away on Tuesday, according to various reports in the hip-hop community. Though the group has not released an official statement, numerous rappers and artists have tweeted about the loss, and #RIPPhife quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.

Phife, whose real name is Malik Taylor, suffered a series of medical complications in recent years, undergoing a kidney transplant in 2008 and has been vocal in the past about his struggle with diabetes.

A Tribe Called Quest, which was comprised of the late Phife, Q-Tip, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, paved the way for many other hip-hop groups after forming in the mid-'80s. They released five albums between 1990 and 1998, the year they split. Since then they've had several reunions, including a November appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

The group's album Beats, Rhymes and Life hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1996 and they are known for classic songs like "Bonita Applebum," "Can I Kick It?," "Electric Relaxation," and "Check the Rhime."

Following the news of Phife Dawg's passing, numerous members of the hip-hop community shared their condolences on social media.

Jermaine Dupri tweeted a group photo, writing, "#RIPPhifeDawg," and Questlove Instagrammed a pic of the MC with a lengthy caption.
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VICTORIA BEKIEMPIS Mar-14-2016 302 0
The Grammy award-winning rapper owes his lawyer nearly $300,000 — and is very behind in his payments, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan federal court.

Lil Wayne and lawyer Michael B. Kramer agreed in December 2015 that his outstanding legal tab totaled $350,000, and that the “Lollipop” rapper would start paying by putting $50,000 down that month, the filing states.

The agreement also stipulated that the rapper — whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. — would pay $20,000 per month until the debt was paid off, the suit says.

Kramer contends Lil Wayne paid him in December and January, but has since stiffed him on February’s payment.

Representatives for Lil Wayne could not be reached.
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Shari Weiss Mar-05-2016 307 0
Rapper Bankroll Fresh is dead after being fatally shot in an Atlanta shootout late Friday. He was 28.

The shooting took place outside a recording studio called Street Exec Studios around 11 p.m. Eastern Time. It’s unclear what sparked the gunfire, or who else was involved. But Fresh, whose real name was Trentavious White, died from his wounds while being rushed to the hospital.

A police investigation is underway. Cops have already found dozens of shell casings at the crime scene. That said, a suspect or suspects have not been identified yet.

Among those now mourning the performer are prominent fellow rappers, including friend and collaborator 2Chainz. He tweeted, “Man I’m a fan of Bru and always will be, I’m in shock at the moment! Senseless deaths we just got to stop it, I’m speaking up now.” He added, “Bruuuuuu u cant be replaced!!! im sic bru.”

On Instagram, 2Chainz called Fresh a “legend” with “infinite potential,” and noted they had just hung out together earlier this week. “We jus f*cked Charlotte up! It was all good few days ago R.I.P Bru,” wrote the star. Fresh had also posted on Instagram about their joint performance, and, in a bittersweet message, said less than a week ago, “Thanking GOD 4 too many reasons.”

Now in tribute, Juicy J tweeted, “R.I.P. Bankroll Fresh this is so sad.” And DJ Drama also posted, “Rip bankroll fresh. Condolences to his family and friends. sad sad news man.”

Fans are also using Twitter to express condolences, with many pointing out a tweet Fresh sent back in 2014. “When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you,” read the message. Now supporters are trying to do just that.

Gossip Cop offers condolences to all of Fresh’s loved ones. He is pictured above at the Street Exec Studios unveiling in February 2015.
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PETER SBLENDORIO Mar-03-2016 258 0
The estate of legendary Civil Rights era singer Nina Simone has joined the chorus of voices slamming the decision to cast a Latina actress in the unauthorized biopic, “Nina.”

The first trailer for the film — which stars Zoe Saldana — was released this week and drew immediate criticism. But when Saldana tried to stem the tide by paying homage to the singer, she only made it worse with Simone’s heirs.

"I'll tell you what freedom is to me,” Saldana had tweeted, quoting Simone. “No Fear... I mean really, no fear."

Simone’s estate tweeted back: "Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life."

The estate followed up that tweet with another that put the focus on the casting of Saldana, who comes from Dominican and Puerto Rican roots.

“Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful,” the verified account wrote. “Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing.”

The 37-year-old Saldana, who wears black face and a prosthetic nose in the movie, has been ripped by her detractors ever since she was chosen to portray the iconic black singer and civil rights activist — who died in 2003 after a lifetime of support for civil rights. She turned her plight into lasting activism anthems such as "Mississippi Goddam" and "Young, Gifted and Black."

After Wednesday's trailer release, outraged fans flocked to Twitter to pan her casting.

"You mean NO black singing actresses could play the part of Nina Simone? #disappointed," tweeted Kim Angel.

Another user named Mikki Kendall added: "I did theater. I love theater. I'm still not giving a pass on Blackface so that we can pretend Zoe was better qualified than anyone else.”

Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly has ripped the biopic for years, telling Ebony magazine in 2012 that she was upset they signed off on the film without collaborating with her family.

“How does someone just decide to do a story about someone and completely bypass family?” she said.

But the film's distributor, RLJ Entertainment, defended Saldana's casting on Thursday.

“Zoe Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone," said Robert L. Johnson, the company's founder and chairman. "She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent."

"The most important thing is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness," he continued. "Quality entertainment should be measured by the sheer force of creativity and the commitment that an actor or actress brings to the performance. We are proud to distribute the film."
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